Sorry, no video this week. Bringing along my video equipment is too much for the uncertainty of a music festival like this. I need simplicity and mobility: water, towel, footbags. Bicycle.
My experience shows why. Ticket prices had doubled, and I didn’t want to pay $35 to play footbag (if allowed to) inside the gates for just a couple hours. I wanted a level, paved place just outside the fencing where I could hear the music. But the fencing and barricades were well designed to foil my plans.
I found one decent spot near the Peace Park stage and kicked to one band for maybe 15 minutes until they broke set. I decided to check out some other spots again, taking off on my bicycle. It started raining! I ended up spending almost 30 minutes alternately seeking shelter from rain, or looking for a halfway dry spot to kick.
Thank goodness I was traveling light! I was about to give up and go back home. I had stopped in front of a checkpoint, beyond which was a potential kicking spot that was still outside the wristband gate proper. One of the volunteers, of course, asked me if they could help me find my way.
“No, I’m actually looking for a place to play Hacky Sack.” I said, staring intently at an empty stretch of sidewalk, dry and sheltered by some trees, just past them and some cones.
“Hey… ” the other volunteer started. “…aren’t you that amazing guy that I used to see play on campus years ago?”
“Speakers Circle?” I asked, then, without waiting for an answer, “Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s me.”
I got the kicking spot.
It turns out this guy used to roam campus with a camera, and catch me kicking in Speakers Circle sometimes, nearly 15 years ago. Another volunteer at the actual wristband gate turned out to know me through the local newspaper discussion boards. He was delighted to have me kick right there, just outside the fence on a nice wide piece of sidewalk, where I could hear the band perfectly.
It stopped raining, too.
The rest of the session was awesome! People coming or going from the festival kept bunching up at the gate to watch, often pulling out smartphones or cameras for a quick shot or giving me props. The volunteer kept taking me up when people stopped. A number of people obviously knew about me already, greeting me with my preferred “Hack Man” moniker.
Rarely does a session experience turn around like that. In the end, I was very pleased. And exhausted. I felt great. A day later, I’m still in the halo of euphoria. I love freestyle footbag!
1:45 / 50:15 – Thanks for tuning in!